Hot Springs man inducted into sports administrators hall of fame

Donna Lampkin Stephens/Contributing Writer Published August 16, 2015 at 12:00 a.m.
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Donna Lampkin Stephens/Contributing Photographer

Ronnie Carter, right, of Hot Springs receives his awards for being named as one of the 2015 inductees of the Arkansas High School Athletic Administrators Association Hall of Fame earlier this summer. Carter retired from coaching and teaching in 2008 after finishing his career in the Hot Springs School District. Carter also spent time in the Monticello, Lonoke, Magnolia and Russellville school districts, as well as in Georgia.

Ronnie Carter of Hot Springs was inducted into the 2015 class of the Arkansas High School Athletic Administrators Association Hall of Fame on July 10 at Horner Hall in the Hot Springs Convention Center.

Carter joined Jim Dickerson of Russellville and Harvey Smith of Hope in the 2015 class.

Carter, who retired from the Hot Springs School District in 2008, grew up in Fordyce, where he played football under the legendary Jimmy “Red” Parker. Carter graduated from the University of Arkansas at Monticello in 1967 and started a coaching career that included stops at Monticello High School, St. Andrews High School in Charleston, South Carolina; Clemson (as an assistant under Parker); Chamblee, Georgia; Lonoke; Magnolia; Russellville; and Hot Springs.

As athletic director, Carter’s two major stops were at Lonoke and Hot Springs. In two terms at Lonoke, he upgraded the program to include volleyball, softball, baseball, golf and tennis. Lonoke won state titles in girls basketball, boys track, football and golf. Facility upgrades included a new junior high field house, high school stadium improvements, an underground sprink-ler system and a resurfaced track. He also implemented the athletic policy and procedures handbook and random drug screenings of all athletes. Lonoke thus became one of the first athletic programs in Arkansas to do so.

He brought the handbook and random drug screenings to Hot Springs when he arrived in 1998. During that stop, he wrote the proposal for the Arkansas Activities Association to begin spring football practice in the state. The Trojan athletic program added soccer, bowling and volleyball. Facility upgrades included two new practice gyms, two new weight rooms and renovation of the existing gym. Hot Springs played host to the overall track finals for all classifications from 2001-03 and the state track meet and/or Meet of Champs from 1998-2008.

Carter was chosen Arkansas Athletic Director of the Year in 1995.

Also during the July 10 event, the Arkansas High School Coaches Association and Arkansas Officials Association inducted their 2015 hall of fame classes.

The AHSCA class included Tommy Reed of Greenbrier (basketball), Lanny Dauksch of West Memphis (football), Willie Parker of Dermott (basketball), Jim Pennington of Emerson (basketball), Linda Thomas of Eudora (basketball) and the late Dave Williams of Pocahontas (football).

Pennington, who coached basketball, track and tennis during stops at Wynne, Emerson and Hot Springs, finished his basketball career at 676-316.

The AOA class included Jack Fulmer of Heber Springs (football), James Magie of Perryville (basketball), Danny Black of Little Rock (basketball), Bob Dunham of Bartlett, Tennessee (basketball), Danny Sheets of Mount Ida (basketball) and Shirl Williams of Marshall (basketball).

Sheets, from Hot Springs, was a member of the 1963 Lake Hamilton state champion basketball team. He hit the last-second 54-foot shot that beat Dyess, 61-59, in overtime. He played basketball for Bill Vining at Ouachita Baptist in Arkadelphia and went on to coach junior and senior high basketball at Mountain Pine and Central Junior High. His officiating career lasted 34 years, ending with the 2013 state finals at Barton Coliseum, the site of his high school heroics.

Lou Wood of Mountain Home, master of ceremonies for the event, summed up the evening that brought a near-capacity 1,000 people to Horner Hall: “I’m not calling anybody old, but these 15 inductees represent almost 700 total years of working with high schools in the state of Arkansas,” Wood said. “That is a great accomplishment and deserves a round of applause.”

The crowd responded enthusiastically.

Dee Doyle of Russellville shared the News Media Award with his son, Mickey Doyle of Rogers. The father-son duo have a combined 85 years of media-related services. Dee Doyle has nearly 50 years of service working in radio in Missouri and Arkansas. He has served as play-by-play announcer for Arkansas radio stations in Conway, Hope, Russellville and Searcy. He is a former public-address announcer for football and basketball games at Russellville High School and Arkansas Tech University in Russellville.

Mickey Doyle, who has worked for several years for the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, started his newspaper career in 1980 while he was still in high school. Since graduating from Arkansas Tech, he has been a sportswriter for the Springdale Morning News, The Sentinel-Record in Hot Springs and the Northwest Arkansas Times in Fayetteville.

Other awards presented during the evening were the Curt King Award to Williams; the Joe Reese Award to Grafton Moore of West Memphis; and the Jerry Hall Award to Billy Joe Hulse of White Hall.